With the exception of a few planned backstage segments, when it comes to pro wrestling, almost everything fans get to see is what goes on in the ring. Whether the product is good or bad – for those unaware, it’s bad right now – the WWE tends to plan every single detail, to the point of over-producing its brand. That’s where behind-the-scene pictures come in and give more of a real glimpse of what wrestlers, managers, and even owners do on a day-to-day basis.
The following group of pictures shows touching moments and interesting combination of wrestlers that may never be seen together on-screen, as well as veterans giving advice to the younger guys. It’s cool to see that knowledge being passed on to the next generation; sometimes it can be the smallest detail that can make a wrestler’s career. For example, when Kevin Steen (aka Kevin Owens) was still working the indy circuit, he met “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and his advice to Steen was to “never stop talking.” Steen took that to heart and evolved his gimmick into a guy who constantly taunted his opponents and even fans that surrounded the ring. Since then, Steen has become one of the best heels in the world.
Enough words, let’s get right to a collection of WWE’s best moments that happened behind the curtain!
15. Worlds Collide
In 2014, Ronda Rousey showed up (just as a fan) to take in SummerSlam as she is a huge enthusiast of pro wrestling. So much so that she’s actually been quoted as saying she wants to be their future champion; how cool would that be if she actually came to the WWE? Here we see her (along with fellow MMA fighters Marina Shafir, Shayna Baszler, and Jessamyn Duke) chatting it up with the former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar.
Imagine if those two teamed up to take on the entire WWE roster? Now that would be a devastating tandem that no wrestler would want to mess with.
14. Trish Stratus’ Final Title Match
In a short six years, Trish Stratus became one of the most popular and accomplished women’s wrestler in the history of the WWE. With zero wrestling experience, this former fitness model transformed into an all-around talent that fans couldn’t help but love, and eventually hate, when she turned heel late in her career. In 2006, at Unforgiven in her hometown of Toronto, Trish took on her long-time rival Lita for the Women’s Championship.
She was able to finish off Lita with the Sharpshooter, winning the Women’s title for the record-breaking seventh time, and after the match, Trish retired as champion which was a great way to cap off an amazing career. Here you can see her taking in the moment as not only champion, but being done with pro wrestling.
13. Seth Rollins’ Big Win
Ever since winning the Money in the Bank contract, Seth Rollins was on the road to becoming the next WWE Heavyweight champion. Rollins decided to bide his time and pick the perfect moment to cash-in: that moment would come at WrestleMania 31, when he cashed-in during the main event between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns.
Rollins was able to take advantage, eventually getting the 1-2-3 on Reigns, becoming the new WWE champion. Here we see him embracing with Triple H, who was not only his supporter on-screen as part of The Authority, but backstage, as one of his mentors.
12. Eddie And Vince
Eddie Guerrero debuted in 1987 and over the years worked his way up the ladder not only in WCW, but in WWE as well. As one of the most underrated talents ever, he finally got his due in 2004 when he took on then champion, Brock Lesnar. At No Way Out, Guerrero was able to defeat Brock, to which the crowd exploded in celebration!
Much like Dusty Rhodes would do, Eddie ran to the crowd first, and joined in the celebration before eventually collecting his newly won title. Backstage, Eddie still clutches the title as a proud Vince looks on. Eddie would stay champion until June of that same year, when JBL defeated him at The Great American Bash.
11. CM Punk Getting Ready
If CM Punk wasn’t already popular enough as WWE champion, he aligned himself with Paul Heyman to give himself just that much more of an edge. Heyman was an integral part of his reign, as he was not only a mouthpiece, but a cheerleader to keep his confidence as high as possible. He even dressed as Paul Bearer – who, at the time, passed away – to play mind games with The Undertaker as they feuded towards WrestleMania.
Heyman was known to keep cameras away from his wrestlers as they got ready, which is exactly what he’s doing in this behind the scenes photo. Eventually, Heyman wasn’t as concerned for Punk’s safety, as he turned on Punk by throwing a ladder in his face, costing him a match, and quickly ending their relationship.
10. A Devastating Injury For Stone Cold
In 1997, Steve Austin took on Owen Hart for the Intercontinental title; part-way through the match, Owen botched a piledriver, legitimately breaking Austin’s neck, causing temporary paralysis. Here we see Austin, looking in quite a bit of pain, with a neck brace lying next to him, a clear reminder of what these people put their bodies through just to entertain.
Lucky for Austin, he was able to walk, but was forced to relinquish not only the IC title, but the Tag Team titles while he healed up. A scary moment for Austin that ultimately was the main reason why his career was cut short. Austin basically wrestled for years against doctor’s orders, and was told he could have been permanently disabled or died had he landed wrong in a match.
9. Cena Dropping Knowledge
One of the biggest ways to improve as a wrestler is to shut up and listen – it’s that simple. Wrestling is a career that continuously chews people up and spits them out, so anyone who can succeed for not just a year, but for over a decade, must know a thing or two about the business.
In this photo, John Cena talks to former NXT champion Sami Zayn, most likely about some detail to work on while in the ring. These two eventually hooked up on an episode of Raw, in a fantastic match for the U.S. title, but unfortunately Zayn hurt his shoulder, and has been out for the past couple months, though his return is near.
8. Bayley Learning The Ropes
Sometimes fans forget NXT is a developmental promotion, and the people involved are still very much learning the craft of pro wrestling. As part of that learning experience, wrestlers are made to not only take classes on how to cut promos or how to put together the ring, but they are asked to listen in and see how a show is produced.
Triple H took this photo and posted it on Twitter, to show that each wrestler always has something to learn about, even the NXT Women’s Champion, Bayley. With headset on, Bayley is most likely listening in to the other producers and how they put the show together.
7. CM Punk Talks With Shawn Michaels
At this point in his career, Punk isn’t exactly a rookie, but it never hurts to listen to a living legend, in this case, “Mr. WrestleMania” Shawn Michaels. This photo was taken hours before WrestleMania and you can see Punk is soaking in whatever information Michaels is telling him.
Amazingly, these two never met in a one-on-one contest, but did face each other in a couple of tag or six-man matches. Punk’s first encounter with Michaels was when they teamed up at the 2006 Survivor Series along with Triple H, Jeff Hardy, and Matt Hardy.
6. The Four Horsewomen
Becky Lynch, Bayley, Charlotte, and Sasha Banks have been working their way up the ranks as some of the most talented women the WWE have. As a nod to the classic Four Horsemen stable, these women are worthy of holding up those four fingers.
Three out of the four have been NXT Women’s Champion (sorry Becky), while all of them, minus Bayley, are currently on the main roster. At this moment, Bayley is the NXT Women’s champion, Charlotte is the Divas champ, and Sasha is quickly becoming one of the most popular wrestlers on the entire roster, thanks to her multiple classic matches in 2015 against Bayley and Becky.
5. Trump Change
Before Donald Trump was running for President, he was working with the WWE to put on events, primarily at his Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, NJ. Now in WWE’s Hall of Fame (celebrity wing), Trump has made some random appearances over the years, including one where he was able to shave Vince McMahon bald at WrestleMania.
In this photo, he is seen shaking hands with “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, who wasn’t quite Trump’s equal, but an appropriate photo-op, nonetheless. To the left is Virgil, formerly known as DiBiase’s man-servant/bodyguard; these days he says goofy things on Twitter for attention.
4. A Legendary Lineup
Seen here (left to right) is Billy “Red” Lyons, WWE Commissioner Jack Tunney, Arnold Skaaland, Stu Hart and Gorilla Monsoon. Billy was a Canadian pro wrestler for nearly 30 years winning multiple titles across multiple NWA promotions. Jack Tunney was most notable known as the “president” of the WWE from 1984 until 1995; his role was similar to what General Managers are today.
Skaaland had a long career as a wrestler and manager (managed Bruno Sammartino and Bob Backlund during their world title reigns), he was inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in 1994. Stu Hart was a famous wrestler and trainer of some of the finest wrestlers including Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Chris Jericho, and Lance Storm, among many others. Finally, there’s Gorilla Monsoon, and if you don’t know who he is, stop reading this, and go inform yourself about his legendary career.
3. Pam Anderson In The Ring
The WWE has always courted celebrities to help enhance their brand and bring crossover appeal to their product. Ever since WrestleMania’s inception, celebrities have been heavily used in this capacity, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.
In 1995, Pamela Anderson made a couple appearances with the company, most notably accompanying Diesel to the ring at WrestleMania XI. His opponent, Shawn Michaels, came to the ring with Jenny McCarthy (both women had done Playboy, so that’s most likely the connection here). Diesel eventually won the match, and left with both women at his side.
2. Siblings Share A Moment
You probably can recognize who these two are, but if not, that’s Stephanie McMahon and Shane McMahon at some random party in their younger days. Shane started working on-screen as a referee, eventually moving to being not only Vince’s wing man, but a wrestler who did some pretty insane spots to entertain the fans and prove he’s not out there just because he’s the son of the boss.
Stephanie eventually made her way on-screen as a pure babyface, then turning evil and siding with her future husband, Triple H. Stephanie had many different roles over the years including wrestler, general manager, and now Chief Brand Officer for the WWE. Shane no longer works for the WWE, but maybe one day, he’ll make his triumphant return to the company.
1. The Boss
Fittingly, the final photo is of Vince McMahon, the brain behind the largest pro wrestling company in the world. Since taking the company over from his father in the early 80s, Vince has helped grow the WWE to a worldwide public company, including their own WWE Network.
Now 70 years old, Vince is still a major part of the company and if what people say is true, he won’t relinquish his power until he dies. These days he makes a few random on-screen appearances, but for the most part works behind-the scenes. In this picture, he’s giving Undertaker’s bike (during his “American Bad A**” gimmick) a test ride in the backstage area.